Cherokee County Historical Museum

Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains

Photo credit Samantha A on Trip Advisor

Located in Murphy, North Carolina

The Cherokee County Historical Museum, located in Murphy, North Carolina, is a significant cultural and historical repository in the state’s far-western corner. Housed in a historic Carnegie Library building in downtown Murphy, the museum offers a comprehensive display of the area’s rich history, focusing on the Native American and pioneer settlers. The building itself, an old town library built in 1922, stands as a testament to the philanthropic efforts of Andrew Carnegie, who financed many such structures across the country​​​​.

The museum’s exhibits are particularly notable for their detailed reflection of the life of the Cherokee Indian during the time of the Cherokee Nation. It offers insight into the poignant history of the Trail of Tears, and the forced relocation of the Cherokee people to Oklahoma. This aspect of the museum not only educates visitors about the tragic displacement but also celebrates Cherokee traditions and the resilience of the Cherokee community​​​​.

In addition to its focus on the Cherokee heritage, the Cherokee County Historical Museum also explores the broader historical context of the region. It provides a comprehensive overview of the early settlement of the area and its development. The museum’s location in Murphy is historically significant, as the town was once the site of Fort Butler, a key holding area for Cherokees during their removal in the 1830s. Through its extensive collection of Native American artifacts and its interpretive exhibits, the museum plays a crucial role in preserving and presenting the complex and rich history of Cherokee County​​​​.

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